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Houston Man Guilty of Laundering Drug Proceeds

BEAUMONT, Texas – A Houston man has pleaded guilty to federal violations related to drug trafficking in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei today.

Roberto Fuentes, 42, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn.

“Money laundering is a key part of hiding evidence of criminal activity such as illegal narcotics distribution,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. “When we disrupt a drug trafficking organization’s ability to profit from their illegal conduct, we are helping prevent dangerous, addictive substances from being distributed in East Texas.  I continue to be grateful for the great work and dedication of the DEA and their efforts to combat all aspects of the illegal drug trade.”

According to information presented in court, Roberto Fuentes was an associate of Ruben Pulido Flores and participated in transactions to conceal currency that was the proceeds of Flores’ illegal drug trafficking. Since at least May 2017, Flores has supervised, managed and controlled a drug trafficking organization of more than five people that distributed cocaine and other narcotics in the Houston area, which was subsequently redistributed to customers throughout Southeast Texas, Atlanta, and Chicago.

Fuentes was indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 6, 2018 and charged with federal violations.  Under federal statutes, Fuentes faces up to 20 years in federal prison. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Rapp.